25 years in, Stargazer’s got a new paint job

The Pegasus rocket has just celebrated its first quarter-century of operations, and now, with the merger of its operator, Orbital Sciences, with Alliant Techsystems (ATK), they’ve unveiled the new livery for the Stargazer carrier aircraft that serves as Pegasus’ normal launch platform.  The change is subtle but lovely.  The red pinstripe down the fuselage and echoed on the two underwing nacelles is now blue, but the one on the fuselage has also been extended to the aft, bending up to follow the line of the vertical stabilizer.  It’s a nice visual effect, and makes the widebody airliner (it’s an old Lockheed Tristar) appear less squat.  Meanwhile, the old Orbital logo replaced by the Orbital ATK logo, which in addition to changing from red to blue, moves the curved line orbiting the word “Orbital” to the end of the full name, orbiting a curve representing the Earth’s limb (though overall it puts me more in mind of Saturn, which may also be intentional).  So here’s the new look:



I look forward to seeing the first flight with this livery.  😉  In the meantime, here’s the IRIS launch aboard Pegasus in 2013:


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